by Carol Grace

ISBN: 0-7434-6760-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

Every woman has dreamed of traveling to a foreign country and falling in love with a stranger. Anne Marie Jackson isnít any different than the rest. Only her stranger is Giovanni. He was an exchange student at her high school twenty-three years ago. Anne Marie had a crush on Giovanni in high school and has managed to keep the flame burning all these years. Anne Marie heads to Italy after her divorce. Her ex-husband is set to marry his young dental hygienist. Anne Marie doesnít want to stick around for the wedding. She makes it to Sorrento where Giovanni is supposed to meet her.

Marco Moretti is the Italian hero of our story. Heís looking for Giovanni as well. Even though Marco introduces himself as a tour guide to Anne Marie, heís actually a government agent looking for a stolen diamond. He manages to bully and force Anne Marie to accept his company as she makes her way across Italy looking for her high school crush. Marco is arrogant, obnoxious and content with his own self-righteousness. He feels certain that Anne Marie has the diamond heís looking for and is going to pass it on to Giovanni. He plans to stick close to her.

The main characters remained shallow through most of the book. I never felt that Anne Marie was really stepping out of her former self. She was just trading one comfortable life for another. Only this new life had better scenery. I understood her need to make love with Marco. She had to prove she was still sexy. But Marcoís willingness to sleep with a woman he suspected to be a criminal didnít say much for his morals and ethics. He fought his feelings up to the very end of the book. The author doesn`t make the reader figure out where the diamond is. Itís obvious to everyone but the characters. As a bad guy, Giovanni wasnít very scary. The secondary characters seemed more like fillers than actual people.

All that said, That's Amore was a light ride across Italy. The author does a good job getting the feel of Italy in the story. The Italian love of food, wine and fast cars is apparent throughout. The enjoyment of life that her characters kept this book from being a waste of time. I was glad to have spent a couple hours reading it.

Reviewed in July 2003 by Jenni.

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